AVHS Transfer Program Highlight

AVHS Transfer Program Highlight

by: Nikki Ritter, AVHS Transfer Coordinator 

Across the country, summer is the peak season for animal shelters as the number of animals coming in grows. For dogs, one of the main reasons for the increase is simply because they are outside more. This leads to more dogs getting loose or wiggling away from their owners while on outings. Additionally, we see an increase in dogs escaping from pet sitters who are unfamiliar with them. For the rescue group, Friends of Roswell Animals (FORA) in Roswell, NM, this is no different.

FORA is an all volunteer non-profit that works with Roswell Animal Control, which is city run, to help save the lost or abandoned cats and dogs who find themselves in Animal Control’s facility. FORA is dedicated to helping transform the facility from a high kill center to an adoption center. Due to recent changes in local ordinances that decreased the number of kennels available to house adoptable dogs in the facility the animals that find themselves at Roswell’s Animal Control facility are in even more dire need to find loving homes, or rescue groups that can transfer them out. Without this, the animals face the possibility of euthanasia.

In early May 2021, FORA reached out to AVHS to see if we may be able to aid their efforts by becoming a destination shelter for dogs in need. In particular, they needed to find somewhere to place 4 year old Pit Bull Terrier mix, Josiah. Josiah was a stray dog who had been in the care of Roswell Animal Control for nearly 1.5 months. As the oldest resident in the facility, Josiah was most at risk for euthanasia. In fact, there were two days during his stay at Animal Control where the facility dipped below their needed available kennels and Josiah was extremely lucky to have not been euthanized during those times. Thanks to Ark-Valley’s new transfer program, we were able to work with FORA to bring Josiah all the way to Buena Vista, CO! Due to his desperate need to be pulled from Animal Control, FORA and AVHS only had two days to get Josiah ready for his big move. He was tested for heartworm, along with several other tick borne illnesses. He was also given a series of vaccinations and a health exam prior to leaving New Mexico. As part of our transfer program we strive to bring in healthy dogs to our community. FORA volunteers drove Josiah all the way to Colorado Springs where AVHS staff had their first opportunity to meet him!

Since then, Josiah has been in the care of AVHS, where he has shown himself to be an absolute sweetheart! He has so much love to give, and became fast friends with another resident dog at our shelter, Doug. Josiah is happiest when he is nearby (or sitting on the lap of) a trusted human. He warmed up immediately to all shelter staff, and is now in a loving forever home. We are all so grateful to have had the opportunity to save this sweet boy from the face of euthanasia!

Since its commencement in early March 2021, Ark-Valley’s transfer program has brought 21 new dog friendly dogs into our wonderful community. We are excited for the future of this program, and for the lives of all the additional dogs we will be able to save. You can help save lives by signing up to be a transport volunteer! Email Krissy for more info: kzic@ark-valley.org.


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